A home that is sinking from one or many ends has a structural issue. If not resolved, the problem could lead to structural failure. The most effective way to correct a sinking home is house leveling.
House leveling is the process of lifting a home as close as you can to its original state. To level your home, you need to repair the foundation of the house.
What causes a home to sink? How does leveling solve this problem? To answer all these questions, we've listed a few answers for your review.
The Cause of Uneven Floors
1. Expansive Soils
When it comes to property damage, expansive soils are the real threat. Certain types of clay soils change their volume with water content. They swell when wet and shrink when dry. Large portions of Houston and its surrounding cities have these types of clay soil.
Expansive soils cause differential movement within the structure. This uneven movement may cause the walls to crack.
Rainwater is not the only instigator of expansive soils. Leaking pipes and seasonal rivers can also cause the swelling and shrinking of soil. Excessive flowerbed watering could also cause structural damage.
2. Termite Damage
Anyone living in Texas faces the possibility of a termite invasion. These menacing creatures can damage to your foundation.
The degree of damage that termites cause relies on the type of foundation. Termites eat wood. Because you have a concrete slab for a foundation does not make your property safer.
Poured concrete foundations with rebar-reinforcements are some of the most robust slabs. Even this type of foundation has cracks. A less termite-resistant option is the Concrete-Block slab. The mortar in the foundation is a softer medium for termites to burrow through.
Termites can squeeze through the cracks within your concrete slab. Once inside, they make hundreds of tunnels. These tunnels could compromise the integrity of your foundation.
The extensive use of these tunnels puts pressure on the existing cracks.
Most structural supports and joists are wooden. Termites attack these structures because they offer them food.
The pier-beam foundation is the type employed by homes with crawl spaces. This foundation is more susceptible to termite damage than concrete options. The wooden component of the piers offers termites a direct line of food.
Prevention of termite damage
As in the case of any termite infestation, there are treatment solutions. You can prevent termite penetration by installing termiticide barriers in the surrounding soil. You can also treat foundation-adjacent wood with pesticides. You can take further measures by drilling holes into the foundation. Inject pesticides into concrete cracks through the holes.
a) Slab Foundations
For homes with slab foundations, leveling entails the installation of piers and pilings. Excavate the area adjacent to the house, then install piers and piling.
Mud jacking is an inexpensive technique for fixing differential movement. Mud jacking involves lifting a sunken concrete slab. The technician drills holes into the settled foundation. The contractor then pumps a mixture of sand, soil, cement, and water through the holes. Concrete lifting and slab leveling are other names for mud jacking.
Chemical mixtures can help stabilize the soil that supports your building. Chemicals like bitumen, sodium chloride and lime stabilize the ground for road construction.
In the case of termite damage on concrete slabs, there are several solutions. If the damage is extensive, you can install piers for stability. To prevent termite infestation, you can create a termiticide barrier around your foundation.
b) Crawl Space Foundation
To level a house with a crawl space foundation, you can fortify the existing pier and pilings. Rods and braces provide excellent reinforcement for failing piers. Stabilizing the soil underneath can prevent sinking.
The cost of constructing or buying a home is so high. It is painful to see the fruits of your labor wither through property damage. Natural disasters are not the only cause of property damage.
A termite infestation can cause significant damage to your foundation. Home leveling is a solution that helps you stop further damage to your home.
You can level your home by installing termite-resistant piers and pilings. You can also create a termite barrier around the soil that sits next to your home. To combat expansive soils, it is a good idea to stabilize the ground that supports the building.
Regardless of the extent of damage or foundation type, leveling is the job of a professional. A "D.I.Y." assignment on your foundation can ruin the integrity of the entire structure.
Allied Foundation is a team of professionals that specialize in home foundations. We have been servicing the Houston community for over 25 years.